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All oversized cabinets tend to garner the designation "imperial," but this one is larger than most and qualifies as fairly mammoth. The studio mount measures 20" x 22", while the sepia photo itself measures 13-1/4" x 16-1/2". Even beyond the magnitude, however, what makes this offering so phenomenally special is its star-studded team: The 1889 Boston Beaneaters featuring league-leading hitter Dan Brouthers (top row, 3rd from right - batted .373), league-leading pitcher John Clarkson (middle row, 3rd from left - won 49 games), King Kelly (middle row, 3rd from right) and Hoss Radbourn (middle row, 2nd from left). We also recognize Joe Quinn, Pop Smith, Charlie Ganzel and Dick Johnston in the top row, as well as Hardy Richardson, Jim Hart and Billy Nash in the middle row. On the final day of the season, Clarkson actually had an opportunity to become the only pitcher besides Al Spalding to post two 50-win campaigns. Sadly, not only did his loss preclude that milestone, but it also proved the heartbreaking one-game deficit behind the National League champion New York Giants.
Noted Boston photographer G. Waldon Smith produced this hallowed tribute, and his copyright imprint appears as part of the captioned lettering, along with the studio address and prominent subtitle "THE BOSTON BASE BALL CLUB - SEASON 1889." Overall display appearance is Excellent with minor perimeter wear, a gradation of image fading and moderate scattered foxing. That said, the showpiece has benefited from a significant amount of professional restoration to shore up the mount, retouch the text, and fill in a few areas of surface paper loss to the photo's lower left and upper right. A last noteworthy facet of this monumental survivor is its fascinating assortment of period equipment, including 7 game bats and a seminal trio of catcher's mask, chest protector and knee pad.
1889 Boston Baseball Club Albumen Imperial Cabinet Photograph
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